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Horses in your garden

So, you're living in France and you want to take in a Camargue horse or even a rescue horse for retirement, or you are a keen horse-rider and you have the land to be able to look after them. But can you actually do it in France? Can you actually wake up to that horse neighing at the end of the garden?

You can if there are no more than 2 horses on your property and if they are no nearer than 50 m from the next property. If you have more than 2 horses, then they have to be 100 m away from the nearest property. So, yes, you can, but no, you can't just have whatever you like in your back garden.

  1. You'll need, first of all to consult the PLU (Plans local d'urbanisme). that can be done directly at the mairie, or online sometimes at the local mairie site.

  2. Then you need to look at the surface area of the shelter that you want to use. If it's already there, then there's nothing to do. If you need to build one, then you need to remember (as with garden sheds) that if it's under 20m2, then you just need a déclaration préalable. If it's over 20m2, then there has to be a request for permission de build (permis de construire). The same form that you would use for either a swimming pool or a garden shed should be used and that means also contacting the local mairie, to see if you are in a protected area of heritage importance.

  3. If you only have 2 horses, then you don't need to build a horse mature pit. But you will need to evacuate it regularly every couple of weeks. If you have more than 2 horses, then you will need to build a manure pit. It's called a fosse à lister, or a slurry pit and that means it has to be done professionally.

The cost of keeping a horse on your land is about 120 euros a month, including the cost of keeping and feeding the horse, the cost of treatment and vet fees, or the upkeep of materials (saddles and bridles, etc).

French Admin can help you with all your needs regarding filling in papers and getting the authorisation approved to have horses or donkeys on your land in France. Get in touch and we will deal with it all.

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